Catastrophic Defined Finally?

court of appeal

Court%20of%20AppealThe Ontario Court of Appeal in Pastore v. Aviva ruled that an injured car accident victim need only establish one Marked or Extreme Impairment due to a mental or behavioral disorder to be deemed Catastrophically impaired under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). In doing so, the Court of Appeal reversed the decision of the Divisional Court. The Court of Appeal also accepted the inclusion of pain from physical conditions in the assessment of impairments due to a mental disorder.

In its reasoning the Court of Appeal confirmed that the definition of Catastrophic impairment was intended by the Legislature to be inclusive and not restrictive. This decision is of great importance to victims of car crashes, especially given the recent reductions in accident benefits to insured’s who are not Catastrophically impaired. Regrettably the present Ontario government still seems intent to legislate a change to the current SABS wording which would run contrary to the Court’s broader definition of what a Catastrophic Injury is.

At Howie, Sacks & Henry, we keep abreast of all current Court rulings that impact our clients and accident victims generally. For further information concerning Accident Benefit disputes especially those involving catastrophically injured accident victims, please contact Michael J. Henry at 416-361-0889 or

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